A rogue landlord has been found guilty of unlawful harassment and misleading and aggressive practices, and will be sentenced next month.
Ragoopathy Naidu, from Lincoln, appeared at the local magistrates court, and was prosecuted for seven offences relating to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and the Protection from Eviction Act.
The charges were brought by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and West Lindsey council.
"Telling tenants to move out in an hour, demanding huge late payment fees and including misleading terms in tenant's contracts were just some of Mr Naidu's actions" says Tara Carter, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire county council.
"Mr Naidu also got his tenants to sign a tenancy agreement and used the terms of the agreement to intimidate and take additional money from them. Nor did he use a deposit scheme to protect his tenants money.
"The requirement not to engage in unfair trading practices applies to all landlords, they also have a duty of care towards their tenants and those that choose to ignore this can expect to face legal action, just like in this case."
West Lindsay council officer Andy Gray adds: "Cases like this demonstrate the importance for landlords to employ a level of professionalism when operating within the private rented sector. Legal processes are there to protect both them and their tenants.
"Occupiers have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes without unlawful and persistent interference from their landlord. Local authorities will work together to ensure that appropriate protection is provided from landlords who engage in aggressive practices to intimidate or harass their tenants.”
Ragoopathy Naidu will be sentenced in January 2020.